Dec 15, 2011

How to Create a Double Exposure

Making Your Double Exposure

Combining multiple exposures is a great way to get unique images. This can be done with traditional film, by partially exposing 2 photos onto the same piece of film. Some modern Nikon digital cameras also allow you to do this in camera (Thanks for the tip Thad)

We are making a similar effect in Photoshop, which will give you a bit more control over how everything turns out. It also gives you the ability to combine images that were taken years apart.

What You Will Learn

  • 0:05 – Announcing our CRITIQUE tomorrow.
  • 1:20 – What “Artsy Fartsy” means to me
  • 2:00 – Locating all of the image we will combine
  • 2:40 – Preparing your idea before you you begin
  • 4:00 – I hit my knee on the hardest thing ever
  • 4:30 – Converting everything to Black & White
  • 5:30 – Turning your tree into a selection
  • 6:50 – Applying your selection to a different layer as a layer mask
  • 7:12 – Using advanced layer mask techniques
  • 8:40 – Secret to creating a double layer mask
  • 10:00 – Adding a “window” texture over top of everything
  • 11:00 – Cleaning the tree to not cut into her face
  • 11:40 – Showing you how we flag the light for our rim

Bonus Points

Keep going with the techniques we show here, adding more and more layers to produce double, triple and quadruple exposures. Have some fun being ARTSY FARTSY, and post your images below!


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(will not be published)

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    Laetitia Messinger

    hey aaron! loved this episode, so simple but really effective (and I think much nice in b/w). Β i was reading up on all this 8bit vs 16bit today because i didn’t understand what it meant and i saw that u worked in 8bit here. do u also work in 8bit when u do an elaborate edit? does it even really make a difference?
    thanks, keep up the awesomeness!Β 

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    Andrea Peipe

    Artsy Fartsy Aaron πŸ˜€ Love it! πŸ˜‰

    I think double exposures are really fun, I have seen some really good ones on Flickr! I did it before but I did not know about the way you did it (which is why easier…) so will try that! Soon! πŸ˜€

    Do you know how some of the modern Nikons allow for double exposure?

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    Andrea Peipe

    Hey fellow Phlearnaholics,Β 

    I just created this double exposure and am not 100% sure if it works… what do you think? Honest opinions!Β 
    I don’t really like the way my hair is “falling” into the water but I could not really figure out how to make it better…I already painted at like 40% on the layer mask because I wanted it to blend it better but I am not completely happy with it yet. Any tips?Β 

    Love you all πŸ™‚

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      hello andrea!Β 

      great idea and i love your hair flowing into the water, but you know what i think would make your images look like a slightly more realistic double exposure? if you allowed a little more of the highlights from the picture of you shine though onto the hills OR if the trees were a little less dark πŸ™‚ The dark triangle of the hill is distracting from the concept a little i think.

      hope this helps!


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    woa i love this episode! i love double exposures they’re soooo fun! heres a few very flattering double exposue polaroids i did as series a while ago! hahaha πŸ˜€

    i think ill have a play today with this tutorial to see if i can make pretty double exposures, i’d love to see all of yours so please post! πŸ˜€

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    I just tried this out.. please give me your feedback.. and things which i could correct as in over all composition